This time last week I was sitting in a caravan on the Lincolnshire coast after feeling unwell for most of the previous day. Unfortunately I can’t equate my weekend illness to alcoholic intake. This weekend has been akin to a sloth so far. Next week that changes gears quite considerably.
Almost twenty five years to the day (well twenty five years and ten days) I’ll be seeing W.A.S.P. on the Crimson Idol tour again. In total Saturday will be my fourteenth time seeing the Blackie Lawless show on the stage. This year celebrates the The Crimson Idol album that was released a quarter of a century ago, and its being played in full on this tour – just like he did on its fifteenth anniversary.
It’s been well documented on here that I’m a huge W.A.S.P. fan. They’re one of the first bands that made an impression on the teenage me (and the first band I saw live) and the dedication has stuck with me over the years. I slacked a bit in the late 90’s during their KFD era, but live you’re usually guaranteed a short greatest hits set, apart from “that song”. The Re-idolized tour consists of the ten tracks from the concept album followed up with an encore of anywhere between three and five back catalogue tracks. Done and dusted in a modest (measly?) ninety minutes. Originally there was murmurings of the full album being played with the inclusion of other songs that should’ve been on the release, a couple of which surfaced on the last album Golgotha, but that hasn’t materialised since the initial announcement.
There seems to be some kind of furore over the length and quality of the bands recent live output. Checking back on previous tours I attended, my first experience lasted for thirteen songs on the Headless Children run in 1989. Show two for me twenty five years and ten days ago in Wolverhampton was also thirteen. I’ve experienced a few shows with a staggering fifteen track (one of which was a drum solo!) but I’ve also witnessed several with as few as ten songs in total.
Their headline set at Hard Rock Hell 2009 was one of the reduced sets. I’m pretty sure they came on stage late and chopped five or six numbers from the evening. For a band with a great history during the 80’s and into the 90’s and a proven track record in recent years their tardiness has always seemed to be a faltering factor for them, that along side Mr Duren’s well documented ego. The night after I’ll be seeing one of W.A.S.P.’s contemporaries in London Town who’ll be playing a much bigger venue for a lot longer and will have a visual display to die for, but more on that later.
Going back to what was allegedly going to be a Blackie solo album here’s The Idol. I thought I’d posted this track previously, but checking back nothing from the band in 1992 has made the blog. The Crimson Idol makes it into my play lists on a very regular basis and is up there as a favourite all these years later. They’ve always written a good power ballad since their debut in 1984 and The Idol is one of several ballads on this album and moved them a bit further away from the shock rocker personas from the previous decade that would resurface before the end of the decade with the return of Chris Holmes.